Scotland’s Captivating Isle of Skye

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Filled with raw, rugged, breathtaking landscapes, this 50-mile-long island is one of the largest of Scotland. Voted as the fourth best island in the world by National Geographic, the Isle of Skye is a hiker’s paradise. Just ask the Munro baggers—hikers who are striving to climb all 282 Munros, mountains that are over 3,000 feet. From majestic mountains to breathtaking waterfalls to the sea, the lochs, and the moors, the scenery is dramatic to say the least. This isle of beauty is a photographer’s dream.

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We were told by a local: “You don’t come to Scotland for the weather!” And to that, we have to add: “That’s why you go to Provence!” Though it does rain nearly every day on the isle, the weather can change every five minutes. One minute it may be raining and the next the sun is shining, at least for a few minutes. We had no trouble in the month of October, as it mostly rained only during the night or in the early morning hours. Rain was quickly replaced by spectacular rainbows, and the sheep didn’t seem to mind.

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Driving for hours a day around the isle seemed like minutes as we were captivated by the spectacular scenery. Although at one point, I did have to wonder where in the world I was when the sign said we were entering Sleat peninsula. Here is an introduction to Skye.

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À bientôt!

Plockton—The “Jewel of the Highlands”

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“I’ve a feeling we’re not in Provence anymore!” Far away from the land with over 300 days of sunshine a year, our travels take us to the misty, captivating land of Scotland—a land of rolling hills, majestic mountains, cascading waterfalls, and more sheep than there are people. Travel along as we visit the “Jewel of the Highlands”—the picturesque village of Plockton.

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Sitting on the shores of Loch Carron lies this sleepy little village with its whitewashed chocolate-box cottages and photo opportunities for days. From boats bobbing in the calm waters and picturesque islands off the shore, not to mention the chance of spotting a seal or an otter, this village is a place to stop and explore.

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There are several scenic walks around the village, which take you through open moorland to vistas overlooking the sea and through enchanted forests. Ian’s walk is an easy hike that offers beautiful views of the sea. The Woodland walk takes you through a forest with tranquil views of Plockton. The marked shoreline path takes you to Duncraig Castle. And last but not least, most definitely walk the peaceful country road above the village, looking down on the loch and charming string of cottages.

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For home-cooked comfort food at its best, stop at the cozy Plockton Inn. The menu changes daily from a selection that includes fish-and-chips, shepherd’s pie, fish pie, fish soup with tomato and basil, and braised beef and potatoes. All were excellent. But the fish pie was outstanding. It was a smoked fish with potatoes and vegetables in a crust. There is also the Plockton Hotel and the Plockton Shores restaurant, both serving fresh and delicious food. The carrot and coriander soup at the Plockton Hotel was memorable.

If venturing to the Highlands on your way to the Isle of Skye, stop at the “Jewel of the Highlands.” Like us, you might even find your car surrounded by a herd of Highland cattle as you make your way around the winding roads of the village.

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À bientôt! Or see ye efter! (as they say in Scotland)